Size: 25 x 36 inches
Artist: Vittorio Fiorucci
Vittorio Fiorucci (1932-2008) was an Italian Canadian poster artist from Montreal, Canada. The designer of over 300 art posters, 8 Time magazine covers, the mascot for Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, and the logo for the clothing chain Le Chateau, originally intended to become a writer. Having won several awards for his written work by the age of 19, he left his home in Italy with a thirst for adventure and the desire to put pen to paper. Quite by happenstance he landed in Montreal, where his inability to communicate in English or French steered him towards drawing, where language wasn't needed to illustrate ideas, thoughts, or feelings. In fact before becoming important advertisements or campaigns, many of his posters began as doodles on restaurant napkins!
Described as a man with tremendous energy and passion, it was inevitable that his posters be as spontaneous and bold as their creator. His imagery can usually be categorized as either abstract or of a fictional narrative with fantastical creatures. He was able to convey all kinds of emotions through his made-up characters, but his favourite was when he could give a cheeky wink to the viewer, inviting them in on the joke.
This poster was created for the National Arts Centre Theatre Company's 1975 production of "The Ride Across Lake Constance," under the direction of Jean Roberts. Based on the play by Austrian playwright Peter Handke, who intentionally shuns plot and causality from the work. It begins with a man rides across Lake Constance without sparing his horse. When he arrives on the other side, his friends congratulate him profusely, saying: “What a surprise! How did you ever make it! The ice is no more than an inch thick!” The rider hesitates briefly, then drops off his horse. He is instantly dead. While it the play stirred by excitement in the international capitals of the world, it was seen as a controversial production by the NAC's predominantly conservative patrons.
Poster is unlined with a small tear on the lower and top left margins and light foxing along bottom (see photos).